Montrose v Formartine United
Links Park Stadium, Montrose
Kick Off: 3.00pm
Final League 1 Table 2018/19
(1959 to 1962 108 appearances, 52 goals, 2nd spell 182 apps, 83 goals)
Towards the end of 1959 Montrose signed a young man called Jimmy Kemp from junior side Forfar West End.
At the time the Gable Endies were in the doldrums and the new player's friends were quick to suggest that signing on at Links Park had not been a good career move.
Time and new manager Norman Christie were to prove them wrong. Under Christie Montrose quickly joined the teams seeking promotion from the Second Division, with Jimmy's goal scoring prowess playing an integral part in the team's new found success.
As well as leading the League goal scoring charts for a time there were other high points in Jimmy's first spell at Links Park.
Jimmy spent three seasons at Links Park before he and play maker Frank Sandeman were transferred to East Stirling. The Falkirk Club had been taken over by the Steedman brothers with a view to transferring the Shire operation to Clydebank. Jimmy's new club won promotion and shortly afterwards the two ex-Montrose players found themselves plying their trade in the First Division in the colours of ES Clydebank.
Eventually manager Christie brought Jimmy back to Links Park in a swap deal, with Montrose winger Bobby Jones joining the Clydebank side.
During his second spell at the Club Jimmy found himself playing against Hearts in the Scottish Cup. If his previous experience of the cup with the Gable Endies had been embarrassing this time glory almost came Montrose's way.
Bobby Livingstone put the Links Parkers ahead in the 49th minute and they held out until the 89th minute when Hearts finally got an undeserved equaliser. The replay at Tynecastle did not go to form either, with the Jambos able to breach the Montrose defence only once to go through to the next round.
Shortly afterwards Jimmy signed for neighbours Brechin City.
(1980 to 1998 (3 spells) - 247 appearances, 9 goals)
Released by Sheffield United, an 18 year-old Innes arrived at Links Park at a difficult time for the club and eventually moved on to Keith in 1983. Whilst there, he began to make a name for himself on the left-wing and Ian Stewart paid out a modest four figure fee to bring him back to Montrose in August 1986. Over the next 14 months, he was a star performer, tormenting numerous defences and attracting much interest from other clubs, before Airdrie paid £35,000 for his services. He went on to play in Italy and Malta, before returning to Scotland and re-signing for Montrose in 1994, helping the club to promotion in his first of four seasons before a short spell at Forfar prior to retirement.
(1980 to 1990 – 359 appearances, 6 goals)
Neil joined Montrose from Aberdeen junior side Parkvale and went on to make 359 appearances between 1980 and 1990. Neil played in a variety of positions including upfront but it was as the midfield anchorman of the 1984/85 championship side that saw him emerge as a class player. Manager at the time Ian Stewart claimed he was "the most underated players in division two" during the title season and Montrose fans to this day acknowledge his contribution to the Gable Endies cause that season. Neil captained the Montrose side on his last appearance for the club at Bayview Park in a 4 - 1 victory over East Fife in a match that saw Gary Murray grab a hat trick. The victory ended the career of one of Montrose's best ever utility midfield players.
(1988 to 1993 - 168 appearances, 1 goal)
Bruce was another Ian Stewart signing from the Highland League, in his case from Buckie Thistle. Extremely pacy, he proved a more than able replacement at right-back for a by then veteran Les Barr. Following his arrival in October 1988, Bruce rarely missed a match over four seasons and was another key member of the 1991 promotion winning side. Following a frustrating final season in 92/93, he left the club to return to the Highland League with Cove Rangers.
(1987 to 1992 - 142 appearances, 11 goals)
For two seasons after signing from Rothes in May 1987, Stevie played understudy to Chic McLelland at left-back, before becoming a regular in the side in 89/90. He really blossomed under the joint-managership of McLelland and Doug Rougvie, when he moved firstly to centre-half and then into midfield. He proved a key member of the 90/91 promotion winning side and played his best football ever in Division One the following season. His combative style coupled with a new found goalscoring prowess and exuberant celebrations made him a great favourite with the fans. Sadly when Jim Leishman arrived as manager, he fell out of favour and left the club at the end of the season to join Peterhead.
Brian ThirdOriginally a full-back, whilst at Peterhead, Brian stood in as an emergency striker with phenomenal results, scoring seven goals in his first two games up front. He never looked back and in March 1971 Alec Stuart paid out a club record £2,000 for him. By the end of the following season, Brian had netted a respectable 17 goals in 43 appearances and Montrose fans were well aware of his powerful shooting ability and exceptional pace, but could never have anticipated his contribution in season 72-73. In all he scored 33 goals in 49 starts, still a club record in a single season and was justly voted Player of the Year. Unsurprisingly, this attracted the attentions of other clubs and in the summer of 1973 he moved to St Mirren for £10,000
John SheranA strong no-nonsense centre-back, there was nothing flash about John but he was a highly effective defender. It was therefore a major shock when Dennis D’Arcy decided to release him in 1983. Ian Stewart was clearly amongst those surprised by the decision, for when he was appointed manager six months later, he quickly brought John back to Links Park from Nairn County. It was an inspired move as in the 84-85 Championship season he contributed seven vital goals and was voted Player of the Year. He remained a regular until late 1987 when he quit for personal reasons before returning in 1989 for a year-long third spell. John returned to the club as assistant manager to Kevin Drinkell in October 1998 and took over from him two years later, before ultimately resigning in October 2004
Willie NicollWillie had opportunities to sign for both Manchester United and Rangers as a youngster, but both moves fell through. Instead he made his name in the senior ranks with Arbroath in the fifties. He put pen to paper for Montrose in the summer of 1959, coinciding with a five year spell where the Gable Endies were regularly challenging for promotion to Division One. That was easily the most successful spell in the club’s history to that point and Willie’s commanding presence at centre-half helped to strengthen what had previously been a somewhat porous defence. A recurring back injury brought his career at Links Park to a premature end in 1962, though he played a few games for Brechin before retiring.
Colin MaverLike Innes MacDonald, Colin had been attracting rave reviews for his performances for Keith - in his case on the right-wing - when Ian Stewart brought him to Links Park in March 1988 He immediately became a fans’ favourite with a goal on his debut to secure a 1-0 victory at Brechin. Of modest stature, his gritty style coupled pace with impressive dribbling ability. Colin also contributed more than his fair share of goals in his early years at the club before being moved infield to a more central role under the Rougvie/McLelland partnership and was another key member of the 90-91 promotion side, before returning to Keith at the end of season 92-93